How You Can Kill Bed Bugs in Your Bed Using Vinegar Before They Turn into an Infestation

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Bed bugs are a complete nuisance; we all don’t want them lurking in our homes. While these insects may not cause severe side effects on human health, you can have painful and itchy welts when bitten. As such, many home remedies have been tried and tested over the years to eradicate these insects. And, of course, vinegar makes it onto the list! But can vinegar kill bed bugs?

Due to its potent acetic acid concentration, vinegar can instantly kill bed bugs when it comes into contact with them through spraying and soaking. The high percentage of acid in vinegar can disrupt the nervous system of these pesky creatures and dry them out. 

But since vinegar might not eradicate all the eggs of bed bugs on the first try, it’s always best to reapply the solution weekly for the next few weeks.

Are you looking for possible home remedies that can combat bed bugs in your household? Well, this article is the answer to your needs. Now, let’s discover how you can use vinegar to your advantage in killing bed bugs!

Does Vinegar Effectively Kill Bed Bugs?

Suppose you’ve been eyeing for quite some time an alternative home remedy that will shoo away and kill bed bugs on the spot. In that case, vinegar is undoubtedly the way to go. Apple cider and white vinegar are top-notch choices for household owners to eradicate bed bugs.

These vinegar products naturally contain acetic acid, a complete fermentation of alcohol that can damage the bed bug’s nervous system, which will cause their death. The more acetic acid the vinegar has, the better its effectiveness in killing bed bugs.

Can Vinegar Kill Bed Bug Eggs?

Bed Bug Eggs

Depending on its concentration, spraying vinegar directly on bed bugs and their eggs can destroy and kill them immediately. However, bear in mind that there are many kinds of vinegar out there, and without a single ounce of doubt, they all have acetic acid.

But if you want to utilize one robust enough to destroy and dehydrate the lingering bed bugs, go for the one with a high percentage of acetic acid.

Studies show that vinegar with less than 5% of acetic acid will not effectively kill bed bugs. So, pick the type of vinegar with around 6% acetic acid or more to kill the bed bugs. And yes, soaking these annoying insects with vinegar can instantly end their lives!

Can You Use Vinegar to Repel Bed Bugs?

Undoubtedly, while a strongly acidic vinegar has the potential to kill bed bugs upon initial contact, it’s also a versatile household item that can effectively repel bed bugs.

However, while vinegar proves to be an efficient solution against bed bug problems, experts tell us that it’s not a one-stop solution for a 100% full-blown infestation.

No matter how potent, vinegar cannot repel an entire infestation of bed bugs from your household. At times, vinegar may even push these tiny insects further into hiding.

But the best way to go around repelling bed bugs is by soaking the infested areas with a long-lasting and terrible vinegar smell.

What Kind of Vinegar Is Good for Killing Bed Bugs?

As mentioned earlier, the percentage of acetic acid in the vinegar you are using is the best way of determining whether the solution can efficiently destroy and kill bed bugs. Apple cider vinegar, one of the most popular home remedies, according to homeowners, contains around 5% to 6% acetic acid.

However, suppose you’re opting for this solution. In that case, you might need to use an enormous amount of apple cider vinegar. Still, this solution might cost you more money than other types of vinegar.

So, if you’re eyeing a cheaper alternative that works effectively, white vinegar is the best option for killing bed bugs on contact. It is a potent kind of vinegar that can immediately eradicate bed bugs when they come together.

How to Use Vinegar to Kill Bed Bugs?

Indeed, vinegar contains acetic acid and possesses a characteristic pungent smell that can effectively keep the bed bugs at bay for quite some time or kill them right away. Vinegar is a sure solution to make these annoying insects repel and less likely to stay around with this potent smell. 

To finally complete your mission of eradicating nothing but bed bugs, below are the few tips we gather on effectively using vinegar to your advantage in killing bed bugs. 

Things You’ll Need 

  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle 
  • Lemon juice 


Step 1: Pick any mist or spray bottle and fill it with strong white vinegar. While this may be an optional remedy, you might want to mix the plain white vinegar solution with lemon juice to increase its efficacy further in killing bed bugs. 

Step 2: Use a flashlight and identify areas of your home where you’ve seen the bed bugs hiding and lingering around. Look for some spots like cracks and crevices in your furniture, or check your bed frame and mattress. 

Step 3: Once you finally identify the areas where bed bugs are possibly hiding, spray the vinegar solution directly into these areas thoroughly. Give it sufficient time for the vinegar to wholly soak the infested areas. 

Step 4: Repeat spraying white vinegar for a few weeks and continue monitoring potentially infested areas of your household for any sign of bed bugs’ presence. 

How Long Will It Take to Kill Bed Bugs with Vinegar?

Again, the level of acetic acid that vinegar contains determines how fast and effective it can eliminate the bed bugs lurking around your home. If you have a bottle of white vinegar lying around your home, start the termination process with it.

Since white vinegar naturally has a higher concentration of acetic acid, once bed bugs are completely submerged in this solution, they will die after six to twelve hours. The duration will be increased or reduced depending on how potent the vinegar is.

Pros and Cons of Using Vinegar to Kill Bed Bugs


While vinegar proves to be an efficient remedy for eliminating bed bugs, it’s not perfect or even a one-stop solution for household owners. As discussed below, using vinegar to kill bed bugs has pros and cons.

Vinegar works quickly because bed bugs die when it comes into contact with bed bugs.Vinegar has a foul or pungent odor that can last long, making your home uncomfortable for resting after spraying it. 
Vinegar is readily available, and you can buy it in all nearby stores at a low price.Vinegar can sometimes push the bed bugs further into hiding rather than eradicating them. 
Vinegar is safe for any household, even with pets like cats, dogs, and children. Vinegar is only effective for killing a tiny population of bed bug infestation. 
Vinegar is not harmful to killing bed bugs since it cannot expose anyone to toxic chemicals.Vinegar’s PH has the potential to damage certain surfaces in your home. 
Vinegar is relatively easy to use, and no need for expert skills to eliminate bed bugs. 
When mixed with other household items like bleach or ammonia, vinegar can produce a dangerous gas. 

What Are Other Organic Alternatives to Kill Bed Bugs?

Are you looking for other organic alternatives that work for killing bed bugs? While you can leave your bed bugs in the hands of the experts, other options exist to finally kill the colony of bed bugs lurking at your home. Here they are: 

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is an excellent chemical-free organic alternative that can kill bed bugs by dehydrating them. It may take a few weeks to see the results.

Tea Tree Oil

Another possible organic remedy to remove bed bugs in your humble home is tea tree oil. While this essential oil is famous for its antiseptic, antibiotic, and anti-bacterial properties, it also contains antiparasitic properties that can destroy and eliminate bed bugs. 

Lavender Oil Spray

While lavender oil is famous for its relaxation, this remedy is excellent for combating bed bugs. Like tea tree oil, you can spray directly on possible hideouts of different pests, such as bed bugs. 


If you have an extensive bed bug infestation, the best thing to do is call an exterminator. That being said, calling an exterminator can be pretty pricey. But if your bed bug problem hasn’t gotten that bad yet, vinegar will do just fine in combatting your bed’s night riders.

As you have read, strong vinegar with a high acidic content effectively kills bed bugs and their eggs, but there are some cons to using it on bed bugs. So, if you don’t want to use vinegar to kill bed bugs, try one of the other non-toxic, natural ways we have listed above, such as diatomaceous earth, tea tree oil, or lavender oil spray.

To learn more about bed bugs, read our article – Can Clean Houses Get Bed Bugs?

Do you have other bug problems in your house? Read out articles:

Can Vinegar Kill Bees?

Can Vinegar Kill Ants?

to learn how to kill them.